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Homeowners Insurance and Your Home’s Foundation

foundation damage, homeowners insurancePurchasing a homeowners insurance policy to cover your home against damage from fire, wind, lightning, vandalism and theft is an important part of being a responsible homeowner.

Because insurance isn’t intended for home maintenance, it’s important to have a plan to maintain both the interior and the exterior of your home. One way to ensure that your home investment maintains its value is to make sure that the foundation of your home is well-maintained.

Here are some ways to maintain your home’s foundation:

  1. Clean your gutters and make sure downspouts drain away from the house. Rain water is unable to enter gutters that are full of leaves and debris. This water will run over the gutters and soak into the ground adjacent to your foundation instead of draining away from the house as intended by the roof drainage system. Excessive moisture at the foundation can cause deteriorating foundation mortar and cracks in the foundation by causing the soil to swell and then dry out.
  2. Look for water collecting in low areas near the foundation. Poor yard drainage can lead to erosion that undermines the foundation. Also, excessive humidity in crawl spaces can lead to organic growth such as mold and mildew on building components.
  3. Plant trees away from the house and keep shrubs pruned. Overgrown trees and shrubs can hold excess moisture and promote wood rot and delamination of building materials as well as insect infestations. The roots of trees planted too close to the house can buckle the foundation or alternatively draw too much moisture out of the soil promoting cracks in the foundation.
  4. Check your crawl space periodically if you have one. Look for signs that there is too much moisture in the crawl space: standing water, musty odors, buckled hardwood floors or condensation on air conditioning equipment or air ducts.
  5. Check for cracks in your foundation on a regular basis. Observe if hairline cracks are getting larger over time. On the interior of your home, check for cracks in sheetrock around doors and windows or in corners, doors that no longer close and windows that are stuck and moldings that have separated or are no longer aligned.

Prevention is always the best approach. Greg Suggs Insurance Agency can make sure your homeowners insurance covers foundation damage before you need to use it. And, if you should have any of these foundation issues, contact Atlantic Foundation and Repair for a free estimate. You can feel confident with the professional technicians who will help determine the best solution for your home.

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